Friday, February 26, 2010

Suicide Bomber Hits Kabul

Explosions and gunfire in the center of Kabul, capital of Afghanistan, have left at least 17 people dead, officials say.

The attack took place in an area of hotels and guesthouses popular with foreigners. Up to nine Indians, a Frenchman and an Italian were killed.


US claims to be securing Afghanistan and could not stop a suicide bomber in Austin, Texas, last week.

Sovereign Afghanistan Government Demands Death

Pajhwok News Agency reports that on Tuesday, the Afghanistan senate deplored the foreign airstrikes that killed 21 innocent civilians in the province of Daikundi on Sunday, and demanded that NATO avoid any repetition of this sort of error.

But some senators went farther, demanding that NATO or US military men responsible for the deaths be executed. Senator Hamidullah Tokhi of Uuzgan complained to Pajhwok that the foreign forces had killed civilians in such incidents time and again, and kept apologizing but then repeating the fatal mistake: "Anyone killing an ordinary Afghan should be executed in public."

Lawmaker Fatima Aziz of Qunduz concurred, observing, "We saw foreign troops time and again that they killed innocent people, something unbearable for the already war-weary Afghans."

Maulvi Abdul Wali Raji, a senator from Baghlan Province, called for the Muslim law of an 'eye for an eye' to be applied to foreign troops for civilian deaths. Pajhwok concludes, "Mohammad Alam Izdiyar said civilian deaths were the major reason behind the widening gap between the people and Afghan government."

Ontario Legislature Unanimously Supports Apartheid

Apartheid is an ugly word that just shouldn’t be used, Ontario Progressive Conservative MPP Peter Shurman said Thursday.

Shurman, the member from Thornhill, moved a resolution to condemn the now annual event on Canadian campuses known as Israeli Apartheid Week,

“I want to be clear about what it is I’m trying to do,” Shurman said. “I want the name changed. It’s that simple. It’s just wrong.”

Shurman said he had no objection to people criticizing Israel, or debating the thorny issues of Palestinians and the occupied territories.

“My problem is the name,” he said. “Israeli Apartheid Week is not dialogue, it’s a monologue. The name is hateful, it is odious and that’s not how things should be in my Ontario. It’s a term that frankly I’m sick of hearing. Get rid of this word apartheid.”

The resolution passed with unanimous support from both the Liberals and the New Democratic Party.

But there were only thirty MPs present for the vote.

US Directing Pakistan Budget

US Treasury Department orders Pakistan to increase taxes on the rich and spending on social programs.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton demands that the Zardari government increase taxes on “the very well off” in Pakistan and increase spending on health care and education.

It is not the US State Department’s job to dictate the tax rates of foreign nation.

Hillary Clinton insists that Pakistan’s upper class “do not pay their fair share.”

The oligarchs of the US don't pay enough taxes.

US should practice what it preaches.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Five NATO countries: US Nukes Out

NATO members Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Norway are expected to request "in the coming weeks" that the US remove all its nuclear weapons, mostly deployed during the Cold War, from Europe.

Will the US comply? Or will the US defy the international community?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

China Dropping US Dollar

China's holding of US Treasury bonds has dropped, according to US Treasury data released 16 February 2010, after Beijing expressed concern over the swelling US deficit and amid new US-China tensions.
The Treasury Department said foreign holdings of US Treasury bills fell by a record $53 billion in December. The record drop delivered notice that the government might have to pay higher interest rates on its debt to continue to attract investors.
Foreigners, especially the Chinese, have begun to worry about record-high US budget deficits and are looking to diversify their holdings.
A sustained drop in foreign demand for dollar-denominated assets could lead to higher US interest rates and falling stock prices. Economists claim that they see no evidence of such a shift yet.

Economists "see" what they're paid to "see."
Most economics is politically driven voodoo economics. Most universities should close their Economics Departments.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Canadian Casualties in Afghanistan: 6000 wounded

More than 6,000 Canadian Forces members and discharged veterans who are receiving physical or psychiatric disability benefits from Veterans Affairs Canada have either served in Afghanistan or have a disability that has been related to their service in Afghanistan, the department says.

Report by Tim Naumetz, 8 February 2010

The Hill Times Online

Canada reports 140 dead in Afghanistan operation. Operation Enduring Freedom

If the number of wounded is even close to 6000, then the number of US wounded should be commensurately high. US reports 990 dead. Rough estimate for the number of wounded, then . . . 40,000?

According to a Washington Post article 31 October 2009, more than 1,000 US troops were wounded in battle over the previous three months in Afghanistan.

Toll is rising. But so long as there is money to be made by the US boss class . . .

Moshtarak: Dari Word for "Fake Military Operation"

If this had been a genuine attempt to smash the strongly entrenched "Taliban," there would have been no advertisement. But this "operation" is more propaganda, trying to make it look like the invaders are winning while trying to dupe the domestic
populations of NATO countries into accepting more such "winning" for 20 or 50 more years of the corporate-socialist war-profiteering.

Prove me wrong: pump up the body count.
Russians have recently killed twenty in the Caucasus . . . without the media noise of the Moshtarak operation which so far has only claimed about twenty enemy dead.

Maybe the translation of Moshtarak is: more crap from Uncle Scam.

Stop Real Estate Lying

The banksters did not try to make everyone a homeowner. They tried to make everyone a mortgage holder. The objective was not to provide housing or raise the prosperity level of society. It was to suck people into loans they could never afford to repay in order to use debt as a social control mechanism.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

US Discounts Iran Nuclear Threat

The White House on Thursday, 11 February 2010, said Iran's declaration of producing the first stock of enriched uranium for a research reactor was based "on politics", and "not on physics."
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Thursday that Iran had produced the first stock of 20 percent enriched uranium at the Natanz enrichment facility.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs cast doubt on Ahmadinejad's announcement . . . but is still pushing the line that Iran has or soon will have nuclear weapons.
Think about it.
If Iran does not have the ability to enrich uranium to 20 percent, then Iran does not have the ability to enrich uranium to the 95 percent required for nuclear weapons.
Besides that, the petulant US wants the world to ignore the fact that Iran can make its own medical isotopes without assistance from other countries.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

China Can Take The Hit

The calls for broad retaliation over the planned US weapons sales to Taiwan came from officers at China's National Defence University and Academy of Military Sciences, interviewed by Outlook Weekly, a Chinese-language magazine published by the official Xinhua news agency.
The interviews with Major Generals Zhu Chenghu and Luo Yuan and Senior Colonel Ke Chunqiao appeared in the issue published on Monday, 8 February 2010.
The People's Liberation Army (PLA) plays no role in setting policy for China's foreign exchange holdings. Officials in charge of that area have given no sign of any moves to sell US Treasury bonds over the weapons sales, a move that could alarm markets and damage the value of China's own holdings.
While far from representing fixed government policy, the open demands for retaliation by the PLA officers underscored the domestic pressures on Beijing to deliver on its threats to punish the Obama administration over the arms sales.
"Our retaliation should not be restricted to merely military matters, and we should adopt a strategic package of counter-punches covering politics, military affairs, diplomacy and economics to treat both the symptoms and root cause of this disease," said Luo Yuan, a researcher at the Academy of Military Sciences.
"For example, we could sanction them using economic means, such as dumping some US government bonds," Luo said.
China has the world's biggest pile of foreign currency reserves, much of it held in US treasury debt. China held $798.9 billion in U.S. Treasuries at end-October.
But any attempt to use that stake against Washington would probably maul the value of China's own dollar-denominated assets.

China should take the loss on the US dollar holdings sooner rather than later.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Tony Blair Conspiracy Theory

Daily Mail interview with Tony Blair reveals paranoid delusion.

Daily Mail

Tony Blair yesterday launched an extraordinary attack on the Iraq inquiry - as the chairman warned that he and others could be recalled over 'gaps' in their evidence.

In an outspoken interview in the U.S., the former prime minister dismissed the inquiry as part of a ' continual desire to sort of uncover some great conspiracy'.

Speaking on Fox News he said critics of the war were obsessed with conspiracy theories, and refused to accept that his motives were 'genuine'.

No, Tony, you're wrong yet again.
You're the deluded idiot who believed, or professed to believe, the conspiracy theory that Saddam Hussein had WMDs.
And critics of the war are quite willing to accept that your motives were genuine. They know that you are an insane mass murderer who saw nothing wrong in the slaughter of one million innocent Iraqis as part of an imperialist resources grab.

Everyone understands you quite well, Tony. They know you are evil.

Iran Plays By The Rules

Iran on Monday informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in an official letter that, starting from Tuesday, it will begin enriching higher-grade nuclear fuel.

"Today we handed over the letter," Iran's envoy to the IAEA, Ali-Asghar Soltanieh, told Press TV. He added that Tehran will use its nuclear stockpile to enrich uranium to up to 20 percent to supply the Tehran research reactor which produces medical isotopes.

The fuel will be be produced at the Natanz enrichment plant.

Iran says that, as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NNPT), it is entitled to enrich uranium for civilian purposes.

Iran is following the rules of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty and has opened its enrichment facilities to UN inspection.

The United States, which has signed and ratified the NNPT, is not in compliance with the NNPT. And of course Israel, which is not a signer to the NNPT, is reported to have an arsenal of 200 atomic warheads itself. Israel accuses Iran of having the intention to develop nuclear weapons and routinely threatens to reduce the country's enrichment sites to rubble.

Iran PressTV

Sunday, February 7, 2010

US Squanders Nuclear Deal Opportunity

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday ordered Iran's atomic chief to begin higher uranium enrichment, raising the stakes in a dispute with the West days after seeming to accept a UN-drafted proposal for a nuclear deal.

Ahmadinejad's declaration drew immediate fire from Britain, which said it was "clearly a matter of serious concern," while US Defence Secretary Robert Gates called for mounting "international pressure" on Iran.

Ahmadinejad in a speech at an exhibition on laser technology broadcast live on state television blamed world powers for the stalemate over the nuclear fuel deal, but left the door open for possible negotiation over the proposal.

"I had said let us give them (world powers) two to three months and if they don't agree, we would start ourselves," Ahmadinejad said.

Anyway, US could have had a deal, but now the stakes have been raised.

US can back up its bombastic rhetoric . . . or back down.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Why US Can't Win A War: Can't Take Casualties

From an article by Greg Jaffe
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 5, 2010

The U.S. military has reprimanded an unusually large number of commanders for battlefield failures in Afghanistan in recent weeks, reflecting a new push by the top brass to hold commanders responsible for major incidents in which troops are killed or wounded, said senior military officials.
The military does not release figures on disciplinary actions taken against field commanders. But officials familiar with recent investigations said letters of reprimand or other disciplinary action have been recommended for officers involved in three ambushes in which U.S. troops battled Taliban forces in remote villages in 2008 and 2009. Such administrative actions can scuttle chances for promotion and end a career if they are made part of an officer's permanent personnel file.
The investigations are a departure for the U.S. military, which until recently has been reluctant to second-guess commanders whose decisions might have played a role in the deaths of soldiers in enemy action.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

No Iran Sanctions

Russia is not likely to support the US agitation for sanctions.

TASS reported 4 February: Russian Deputy Foreign Minister has said that the country cannot agree with sanctions against Iran because sanctions do not work as a rule.
"We do hope very much that Tehran will consider the sextet's proposals in a constructive manner and respond to them positively," Sergei Ryabkov.

On the same day, a Chinese diplomat in Paris was quoted as telling reporters, “To talk about sanctions at the moment will complicate the situation and might stand in the way of finding a diplomatic solution.”

His remarks, quoted by Reuters, seemed a direct rebuff of US efforts to secure broad international support for tougher penalties against Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, accused by US of running a covert nuclear arms program.

The Iranian government says the program is for peaceful civilian purposes.

“China firmly supports the international nuclear nonproliferation regime,” said Yang Jiechi, the Chinese Foreign Minister. “All countries, Iran included, if they obey I.A.E.A. rules, have a right to a peaceful use of nuclear energy.”

The I.A.E.A. — the International Atomic Energy Agency — is the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, based in Vienna.

If the US has any evidence of Iran violating IAEA rules, it should present it to the world. Otherwise, STFU.

US Launches Death Squads

In testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair told representatives that American citizens can be assassinated by the US government when they are overseas.

Blair said the comments were intended to “reassure” Americans that there was a “set of defined policy and legal procedures” in place and that such assassinations are always carried out by the book.

Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R – MI) inquired about the procedures involved, asking what the legal framework was under which Americans could be killed by the intelligence community.

Blair replied that under no circumstances would Americans be assassinated overseas for criticizing the government. "We don't target people for free speech," he said. "We target them for taking action that threatens Americans."

They are subject to assassination when the government decides they are a threat and when they “get specific permission,” Blair said. Exactly who would give that permission was unclear.

It is quite clear. US citizens will be targeted for termination by the US regime.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Russian Field Hospital in Haiti

Russia offered best hospital treatment to Haiti quake victims-WHO

2.02.2010, 20:19

The World Health Organization (WHO) says the Russian field hospital which provided medical treatment to Haiti quake victims in Port-au-Prince proved to be the best. Up to 2,000 people were treated by a group of Russian medics during two weeks, 200 of them underwent surgeries. On Tuesday Russia sent another planeload of humanitarian supplies to Haiti.

Source: Voice of Russia.

Hungry US

According to a study from the nation's largest food bank operator, the number of Americans in need of food aid has jumped 46 percent in three years, including a 50 percent jump in the number of children needing food assistance, and a 64 percent increase in hunger in senior citizens' homes.

The study, Hunger in America 2010, found that 37 million people, or roughly one in eight US residents, received food aid in 2009. That's a 46 percent jump from a similar survey carried out in 2006.

But there is plenty of money for the military invasions and occupations of foreign countries.